No need to panic—just follow this easy 5-step process to remove red wine from a white tablecloth (or other washable fabric).

No need to panic if someone spills red wine on your crisp white shirt, tablecloth, or other washable fabric. In a few easy steps—see the video—the fabric can look as good as new.

What You Need

  • clean white cotton cloth
  • bowl
  • table salt
  • pot holder
  • boiling water

Follow These Steps

  1. Blot, don’t rub.
    Dab at the stain with a damp, white cotton cloth to absorb any excess wine. (Rubbing is the wrong move because it will actually set the stain.)
  2. Pull the fabric taut.
    Slide a bowl under the fabric, centering the stain over the bowl. Secure with a large rubber band.
  3. Sprinkle salt.
    Coat the stain with a generous amount of salt and let sit for at least five minutes to allow the salt to start absorbing the liquid. Keep in mind: The sooner salt is applied, the easier it will be to lift the stain.
  4. Add boiling water.
    Slowly—and carefully—pour boiling water over the stain from a height of at least eight inches. (Pouring from this height gives you enough force to flush out the stain.)
  5. Machine-wash.
    Using the hottest water setting, launder the fabric. Tip: Don’t put the cloth in the dryer until the stain is completely removed. Otherwise, the dryer’s heat will cause the remaining stain to set.

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